Nurses at work with bogus papers

July 13th, 2008

NURSES coming to Australia on skilled migrant visas have come with suspect documents, it has been revealed exclusively to the Sunday Territorian.

In 2006, four Zimbabwean nurses working in Queensland were caught with falsified certificates of good standing, a document needed to apply for work in Australia.

The certificates were issued by the Zimbabwean Nursing Board.

Three were found to have been genuine nurses who received their certificate earlier than they should -- but one was not. That nurse was deregistered.

The Department of Immigration said the nurse had since left Australia.

It said Zimbabwean nurses had certificates of good standing "incorrectly'' issued over a two-year period.

The NT is suffering a severe nursing shortage with increasing numbers of nurses arriving on the 457 visa to fill the gap.

In 2003-04, 40 nurses arrived on the 457 visa.

But last year the number more than doubled to 90 nurses, from countries including India, the Philippines and China.

Zimbabwe has been the biggest provider of 457 nurses in the Territory with 90 coming in the past five years as the country has slowly fallen apart.

Australian Nurses Federation NT secretary Yvonne Falckh said Royal Darwin Hospital was about 60 nurses short and Alice Springs hospital down 20 -- with the positions unable to be filled